(WHAS11) -- Their heroism inspired a new movie starring Cuba Gooding Junior and Terrence Howard. But on Friday students got up close with the real Tuskegee airmen that lived through it.
The new movie "Red Tails" tells the real life story of an elite group of African American pilots who fought in World War II.
Some lucky high school and middle school students not only got to see a special screening of the movie Friday but meet two Tuskegee Airmen from Louisville.
Students from the Academy at Shawnee, Olmsted North Academy, Central and Barrett were given a special screening at Tinseltown. For these kids it’s a chance to learn an important part of history and the men that brought down racial barriers.
“They were willing to take their lives for their country and work and never give up," Barrett Student, Abhi Shuk, said.
“It really showed me how people had to overcome a lot just to do some of the things that other races got privileged to do. We have to work harder for it," Central High School, David Harrington, said.
But once the credits rolled, the lesson was far from over.
Members of the Tuskegee Airmen's Association gave some extra inspiration to these students, as well as two Tuskegee Airmen who are from Louisville, like Sgt Frank Weaver.
“It brought back old memories; made me feel good and proud. Remind me of the good job we did," Sgt. Frank Weaver, who also was at the screening, said.
The men got up close and personal with the kids and even stayed to talk, sign posters and hopefully encourage another generation.
“I just hope they will catch on and this will encourage them to do something. Do positive things. Cause we lose so many of our kids. And being 18 and 19 and serving,” Sgt. Weaver said. “It made a man of me and made me mature."
The kids were clearly taken by the message on the big screen and the one in person.
"They were real good men and they protected the country for us," Shuk said.
"I shook his hand and thanked him for what he did. I think it's amazing," Central High School student Duane Sutton said.